The Red Devils varsity team began the tournament with a 49-45 win over the Millard Eagles on Friday night. GCHS senior Hunter Stitzer led the Red Devils in scoring with 14 points,. Fellow senior Kaden Risenhoover put 11 points on the board for Grand.
The Red Devils’ win against the Eagles put them into the tournament championship game on Saturday, Dec. 7. That contest pitted the Red Devils against the tournament’s home team, the Gunnison Bulldogs. The Red Devils narrowly lost the game by the score of 53-47 as Gunnison came from behind and outscored Grand in the last half of the game. Red Devil head coach Brook Shumway said the Bulldogs were able to make up a lot of ground at the free-throw line.
“We were ahead 20-19 at halftime,” Shumway said. “During the second half, [Gunnison] shot 27 free-throws and we only shot 10. We lost it at the line.”
Grand’s starting players for the varsity game against Gunnison were all seniors, including Risenhoover, Adam Jenkinson, Koi Cook, Stitzer and Trevor Bertuzzi. Senior Jason Christensen led the Red Devils with 12 points scored during contest against the Bulldogs.
Even though the Red Devils lost that final game of the tournament, Shumway said he believes the boys are off to a good start.
“We really had chances to win. Now we’re ranked third in the state,” he said. “We started out on a positive note. We’re right there where we need to be.”
The GCHS junior varsity basketball team placed fourth at the tournament, losing both their Friday and Saturday games.
The first scheduled non-region game of the season pairing the Red Devils against Maeser Preparatory Academy on Wednesday, Dec. 4 was cancelled due to weather conditions. The Red Devil varsity squad is scheduled to play the Altamont Longhorns on Thursday, Dec. 12 in Moab at 7 p.m. There will be no junior varsity game against the Longhorns.